First, let me follow up to my speech earlier in the week. It went really well. Only about 500 people and spoke in the middle of the room, which felt really odd. But they laughed when they were suppose to, "awed" when I wanted them to and had Partners saying, "thank you," at the end.
Whenever I prepare speeches, I always remember my Dad preparing me for the fourth-grade speaking contest. Not everyone got to speak and I earned my spot. Our speeches were actually demonstrating how well we could rehearse a poem. While my friends presented poems by great authors like Emily Dickinson and Shel Silverstein, I found some random poem called, "Pigs." [Yes, my quirkiness began early.] He coached me in the living room, encouraging me to use drama by belting out the first word of the poem, "PIGS," then throw up my arms and lunge toward the audience. I don't remember much after that or if I even presented it that way. But yes, that memory still lingers. [And let's not talk about the 8th grade speaking contest].
Getting home last night is another story. When I left you last, I was sitting in the Atlanta airport, hoping to get on a flight. Well, I did get on a flight, at around 9:10, and we sat and sat and sat. I was in the very last row, thankful for a seat. Around 10 p.m., one of the pilots came on announcing he was trying to have 1,700 pounds of fuel removed from the plane because it was overweight. He proceeded to inform us that safety is Delta's main priority and he is fighting to have the fuel reduced vs. taking off passengers. He said the company didn't want him to remove the fuel because in Florida, they charge a high tax due to vacationers. Ok, too much information, I'm thinking.
He proceeded with, "I understand there is concern about our safety. We are both combat pilots and love our families." Saying something like, we will get you there safely. He ended with, "If you want to get off, you can." He then stood in the doorway and no one moved.
Ten minutes later, "We need 10 passengers to get off the plane. Not 8, not 9, but 10." Apparently, there were no trucks available to de-fuel the plane, there are only two trucks (mind you, Atlanta is a major hub for Delta and the busiest airport in the U.S.), one was full and the other broken. After the 10 volunteers scurried off, "We have enough fuel to fly to Tallahassee and back."
"But we only want to go once," was what a passenger said to me.
$200 Delta dollars were given to each passenger who got off for the next flight (which arrived 10 minutes after ours). To my clique in the back I asked, "so, they'll spend 200 in Delta dollars, which is $2,000, how much will they save in [fuel] taxes [by not refueling in Florida]? The wise-ass quickly quipped, "well, has anyone been able to actually use Delta dollars?" Good point.
We were given an 8 ounce bottle of water. Which means, give people water, they're gonna have to get up and pee. There was a very large woman on the flight, who drank her 8 oz. As soon as we were about to take off, she decided she had to go. The flight attendant told her to sit back down but she didn't listen and locked herself in the bathroom. The attendant alerted the pilot and so wheels didn't lift until the woman had peed. 10:55 p.m., my 7:41 p.m. flight was in the air for the 36-minute trip.
You know that "rule" that FAA has about traveling on the same flight as your luggage? It's just a rumor. Because one of my bags was on my flight and the other on the later flight. The great thing about the evening (and would have been more exciting if I wasn't on an expense report) is that the Tallahassee airport waived all parking fees for the evening.
Just another day in the life of a road warrior.